Schlock Magazine just published my short story “Robot Plague.” If you want to check it out it’ll only take five minutes, and you can read it by clicking here. And, of course, I’m really proud of this story. I’m proud of all the stories I write, though I’m extra proud of this one. This is in part because I think “Robot Plague” is pretty funny—perhaps as you can tell from the title, the premise is pretty ridiculous, and that cracks me up—and in part because I’ve been trying to get this short ditty published since 2011. The story of that (in brief!) is as-follows:
Though first, perhaps saying “since 2011” is inaccurate. The phrase might imply that I’ve been trying to get this story published in its present form for eight years. “Robot Plague” was only the second thing I ever sat down to write, and back in 2011 it was bad. It was REALLY BAD. And then I re-wrote it and re-wrote it and sent it off in 2012, and 2013, and you get the point—all of those drafts were bad, too. Looking at them makes me cringe. They’re awful. Again, they’re bad, and they really aren’t even close to what the final copy here is like.
In 2015 or so I attended a Halloween party. We had to bring in a short story to be read, anonymously, for what turned out to be an extremely fun party activity. There were perhaps five or six stories in total, and we all divvied them up so that authors read stories by other people out loud, and then we voted on the best. I took the tiniest break from graduate school studies to completely re-write “Robot Plague,” putting it in the basic form you see here. I don’t think I won the Halloween party story contest. But hearing my story read out loud was a BLAST, and it made me realize that I should keep writing creatively. So here it is, with a few polished touches since 2015, and I’m so happy Schlock Magazine was interested. I hope you enjoy!
–Jeff and Leah